Milan may be dismissed by some for being too industrial, too grey, but to do this would be to miss out on its beautiful architecture, design and of course, fashion – as our Milan design guide will show. This is a city where traditional design rubs shoulders with new artist complexes and galleries, where chefs are celebrating Lombarian cuisine in new and exciting ways and where cutting edge fashion will always have its home.
No Milan design guide would be complete without mentioning the Bosco Verticale – or vertical forest. A great way to see it is by bike on a Milanese e-bike tour. Two residential towers contain more than 900 trees on its balconies and terraces, giving the impression of a living forest growing upwards and towering over the city. The trees create a spectacular scene, particularly in spring and summer when they flower, and in the autumn when the colors change.
The Monumental Cemetery shows the dedication the Milanese have towards design, even in death. The main entrance is a work of art in itself, hewn from marble and stone. Some of the monuments and tombs housed in the cemetery are extremely impressive, ranging from Greek-style temples to classical Italian statues. You’ll find some of Milan’s most famous painters, artists, industrialists and composers buried here.
Eat And Drink
Drink – Frida Bar
Frida bar is housed in an old warehouse in the trendy Isola district of Milan. Its beautiful courtyard is covered from floor to ceiling in plants and is a great place to while away a couple of hours over the bar’s signature cocktail list. This is a multi-purpose space complete with temporary pop up shops that sell everything from art to fashions to jewellery.
Eat – Nebbia
In the canal side Navigli district lies the bright modern space of Nebbia. The small but always-changing seasonal menu is executed with elegance and passion. There is a tight but excellent wine list specialising in natural wines from small producers. A relative newcomer to Milan’s burgeoning quality food scene, Nebbia is already making waves across the city.
If you want the hard work taken out of choosing where to eat and drink, a food tasting tour will give you access to some of the best Milanese food, including trying traditional risotto in one of Milan’s most famous restaurants.
Bulgari Hotel, Milan
An exquisitely decorated hotel in the centre of Milan, the Bulgari hotel is a luxurious hotel option. The interiors are modern and sleek with high ceilings and balconies overlooking the hotel gardens. You can also relax in the spa and pool or hit the gym after a day’s sightseeing.
Via Privata Fratelli Gabba 7b, Brera, Milan
Armani Hotel, Milan
If you’re staying in Europe’s fashion epicentre, the Armani hotel makes a rather fitting stay. A personal lifestyle manager who is responsible for your wellbeing during your stay will take you to your room. The rooms are large and decorated in minimal dark tones. They come complete with Ipads and free minibar and the spa and gym add that extra bit of decadence.
Via Manzoni 31 Brera – Montenapoleone, Milan
Elizabeth Lifestyle, Milan
The clean lines and striking colours of the Elizabeth Lifestyle hotel makes it a perfect stay for any design aficionado. Set in beautiful gardens, this centrally located hotel makes a wonderful base for exploring the streets of Milan. Be sure to take breakfast in the peaceful gardens.
Corso Italia, 11, Sant’ambrogio, Milan
Be sure to take a look at all of our curated hotels in Milan.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
This gloriously decadent shopping arcade is one of the reasons Milan has become known as one of the world’s fashion capitals. It’s Italy’s oldest shopping mall and is a mecca for fashionistas across the world for its boutique stores and designer shops, some of which are the oldest in Milan. When visiting the Galleria, perhaps as part of our insider Milan city tour, don’t forget to indulge in an old tradition. If you want luck, spin your right heel three times, counter-clockwise on the groin of the bull mural on the ground floor.
The Quadrilatero d’Oro – or Golden Triangle – is probably the most famous shopping area in the world. So you’ll find here some of the most famous names in fashion. This is the place to come if you’re looking for less famous but equally excellent names; there are strings of independent boutiques in this area where you can buy clothes and accessories from emerging designers.
Milan And Design Go Hand In Hand
If you’re interested in design, it would be almost unthinkable to visit Italy and not come to Milan, as this design guide shows. It courses through the veins of this city. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our 2 days in Milan guide. And make sure to take a look at all our tours in this great city.